Being involved in the livestock supply chain in Tasmania means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect your business, the broader industry and the state from the impact of pests, weeds and disease.
Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD) and to help keep your business - and Tasmania - biosecurity safe.
Develop a Biosecurity Plan
Biosecurity plans should contain actions aimed at preventing the introduction or spread of pests, weeds and disease and in maintaining high standards of animal welfare. Developing and implementing an appropriate biosecurity plan for your work involving livestock is a key step that you can take. They are also a good way to educate staff and visitors on the importance of biosecurity. There are many on-line resources to assist with this – the Farm Biosecurity website is a great starting point.
Important Biosecurity Actions
Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)
If you SEE something as you are moving stock that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species;
SECURE the site by restricting access (and ceasing animal movement in the case of suspected animal diseases) AND take a photo, noting the location; and then
REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible - see reporting details below.
Please note: Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.
Ensure that your clothes, vehicles and equipment are clean on arrival and free of soil and plant material (such as weed seeds) prior to arriving at a property.
Ensure that when you sell or move livestock from one property to another, or transport animals for slaughter, animals must be identified to NLIS requirements and travel with the correct documentation.
Ensure that when you move livestock from one property to another, or transport animals for slaughter, that all animals are fit to load for the intended journey and meet all other health requirements.
Apply animal welfare requirements, as described in relevant legislation, codes of practice, guidelines and quality assurance programs.
Never feed swill to pigs, Restricted Animal Material (RAM) to ruminant animals (for example, cattle, sheep and goats), or offal to dogs, and ensure that visitors are not permitted to bring food onto the property for the purpose of feeding animals.
Ensure that all equipment for moving livestock is well maintained to prevent escape and/or injury and to ensure that effluent is contained and disposed of appropriately.
Leave farm gates as you found them (i.e. open or closed), unless otherwise instructed by the property owner or manager, or signage. Report any damage to fences to the property owner/manager to prevent the escape or entry of livestock or other animals.
When you leave the property – make sure your vehicle and equipment are cleaned (if on-site facilities are available) or at a minimum ensure you clean down your vehicle and equipment before entering the next property. Carrying a basic, personal biosecurity kit is a good way of decontaminating vehicles, clothing and equipment. Recommended contents and instructions on putting a kit together can be found at the Farm Biosecurity website.
Report any sick or injured animals in the load as soon as practicable. If death is confirmed, ensure that the carcass of any animal that has perished during transit is buried, burned or otherwise suitably disposed of within a reasonable time after the carcass has been discovered. Ensure that dogs are not able to access offal from carcasses due to hydatids risk.
Ensure that agricultural and veterinary chemicals are used as per label, or applicable off-label permit (i.e. appropriately to minimise risk to human health, animal health, plant health and the environment). Visit the website for information on AgVet chemical use in Tasmania.
Ensure that if you’re travelling to Tasmania from the mainland with a livestock consignment, the animals, conveyances (such as truck and trailers) and equipment are clean and free of soil, seeds and plant material, and that any feed or bedding on board meets Tasmanian biosecurity import requirements. Ensure that animals meet all welfare guidelines for transiting to Tasmania across Bass Strait.
Contact and reporting
Contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:
Phone: (03) 6165 3777
Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) or the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858).
Stay up to date on Biosecurity in Tasmania
Subscribing to get Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.
Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.